Website editor’s note:  The following text is adapted from a recent email from The NZ Wellness Association. More information about the Natural Health Products bill may be found on this website by typing Natural Health Products bill into the website’s search box.

For some other background information on this issue, please to to this LINK of our site for some background information on this issue and also a link to a petition on the bill.

PLEASE ENSURE WE CONTINUE TO LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY

We are running out of time. The Natural Health Product and Supplements Bill Final Reading could be at any time. There is pressure from vested interests to have it read as soon as possible.

To ensure access to safe and therapeutic products, including well known products such as Lyposheric Vitamin C, and to allow research in this field to continue, we need to act now. The public needs to be made aware that many effective products currently used to promote health and wellness may not be available to them if this Bill is passed.

You can help us get this message out in the following ways.

  • Donate whatever amount you can to our give a little page. The money raised here will go towards advertising this issue to make as many people as possible aware this is happening. (We understand there are many causes and day-to-day living costs that require our attention. Any amount you can donate will make a significant difference)
  • Like our facebook page
  • Sign and share our petition;

You can also email your local MP or the members of the select committee working on this Bill. Their details can be found here

What is the Bill?
The Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill, if passed, will establish a new regulatory regime, separate from those in place for food and medicines. It aims to control low-risk natural health products such as garlic capsules and Echinacea, and supplementary products such as vitamin tablets. The full regulatory scheme will be phased in over three years.
“The regime is intended to ensure that the natural health and supplementary products consumers use to support their health and wellbeing:

  • are safe to use
  • that the health claims are true
  • that the products are made and contain what their label says they do.”

The regulatory scheme will cover over-the-counter products. Products made by a practitioner for an individual patient are exempt from the legislation – this includes rongoā Māori, and traditional Chinese medicine, as traditionally practiced, though if these products are subsequently sold over the counter they will be covered.
The New Zealand Wellness Association is pro-legislation. But, we don’t want THIS legislation. In its current format the Bill restricts access to proven therapeutic doses of natural health products as well as stifling innovation, the information and skill of indigenous medicine practitioners such as rongoa Maori, Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine.

Read below to see the problems with the Bill in its current format.

Who does the Bill affect?

This Bill will affect everyone in New Zealand.
Practitioners and GPs who have limited options to provide to patients.

Small locally-owned businesses who cannot afford to register their products for sale.
People with chronic health conditions who have limited options available for treatment.
Children with ADHD who can only access pharmaceutical drugs.

Couples struggling with infertility.

Anyone with circumstances or concerns that could be treated with quality therapeutic levels of natural health products.

Even if you think this Bill doesn’t affect you now, there may come a time in your future when your health is compromised and you might wish you had options.

How will things change if this Bill is passed?

This Bill will limit your choice of natural products:

  • Hundreds of safe compounds will be being banned unjustly.
    1. g. Lyposheric Vitamin C, 5HTP, Glutathione,
    2. The published permitted substances list (Published by Medsafe) severely limits what natural products are available.
  • This Bill will harm your family now and in the future: You may think your family doesn’t need natural products now, yet you may want that freedom of choice in the future, if not for yourself, but for your children, your nieces and nephews, your parents, siblings, and extended family.
  • This Bill will stifle future breakthroughs in natural health, by stifling innovation in Natural Health research. If you limit the variety and dosage of natural health ingredients, and make huge financial barriers of entry for the approval of new ingredients that are discovered, your freedom of choice for future breakthroughs are limited.
  • Natural health products will become less effective from this Bill by unfairly banning ingredients or putting severe restrictions on dosages to sub-therapeutic levels. Can you help someone who is dehydrated with a thimble full of water? No. This Bill will further limit levels of natural ingredients to watered-down levels.

 

What’s wrong with the Bill?

It is a heavy handed approach to a small – overexaggerated – problem

The NZWA is pro-regulation to ensure that the products available to consumers are of high quality and are therefore effective in treatment. The Bill purports to ensure the safety of consumers when taking NHPs. The issue isn’t in the safety of using natural products to treat health conditions. The issue lies with the quality of many over-the-counter products and whether or not they actually work in the doses available.

The Bill counteracts the concept of proportionate regulation. Many low grade single nutrient products will still be available for purchase in supermarkets and pharmacies. These products will not be affected by this Bill and the risk to the consumer is that these products do very little to treat chronic health concerns.

What is affected are the products resulting from innovative research from skilled individuals that provide effective therapeutic doses of micronutrients. WIth regards to consumer safety, this Bill effectively removes or dilutes the range of safe, quality products available to consumers while offering no solution to the real risk.

While we are talking safety. The side effects of the top ten common drugs used to treat psychiatric conditions form a list longer than two pages. The side effects of natural products are significantly less and are often dose dependent. If safety is the purpose of this Bill, why does it propagate the pharmaceutical model?

Natural Health Products are already safe

  • A report prepared in the EU found that natural products were 45,000 times safer than properly prescribed allopathic drugs, and 75 times safer than eating a meal.
  • No coroner in New Zealand has ever recorded a death from consuming natural health products.
  • The 2014 US FDA report recorded that there were no deaths from consuming vitamins.
  • The supposed health risks of natural health products are a medical myth created by public relations professional paid to protect allopathic monopoly of healthcare.

The word “Safe” in the Bill really means “Restriction”. The word “safety” is being used as a bludgeon to restrict access to natural health products.

The Bill makes Natural Health Products LESS SAFE:

  • The Bill will allow 3000 synthetic chemicals and added to Natural Health Products (schedule 1 of the Bill), many of which have been approved without testing by using the unscientific principal of “Substantiated Equivalence”.

The Bill removes consumers freedom of choice.

This Bill is Bad for consumers while maintaining the ministry of health’s pharmaceutical mindset and removing many products – including the ones Julia Rucklidge is researching – from the market.

You may not have a chronic health concern now, but down the track if you suffer from arthritis, dementia, infertility, have a child with allergies or ADHD your options will be limited to the conventional medical model. You don’t have to believe in or agree with the efficacy of natural health products to value your freedom as an individual to choose the best course of action for you or your loved ones.

The Bill explicitly prevents legal recourse over any decision made by the Ministry of Health.

This Bill allows for unrestricted Search and Seizures.

  • Natural Health practitioners, manufacturers, and distributors will now be treated like criminal drug dealers, with the Bill allowing for Search and Seizure (clauses 17-20), with no legal recourse to seek damages caused to the individual or company by the enforcement of this Bill by Medsafe or MoH (Clause 4, (2), subsection 1).
  • This has the potential to force the closure of many small health businesses.

This Bill will make the products still accessible to consumers more expensive due to a lack of competition and increased compliance costs for natural health companies.

Products that are still admitted to the market because they are registered with the permitted ingredients list will be more expensive than they are currently. This is because companies have to pay to register these products with medsafe. Because natural health products are not patentable, none of these costs can be recouped in any way other than increasing the cost of the product to keep profit margins the same.

Natural Health Products cannot make a claim about what they treat. Practitioners will no longer be able to talk about their skills and what they can treat. This again erodes freedom of choice as individuals will not know what options are available to them.

How you can help

  • Donate whatever amount you can to our give a little page. The money raised here will go towards advertising this issue to make as many people as possible aware this is happening. (We understand there are many causes and day-to-day living costs that require our attention. Any amount you can donate will make a significant difference)
  • Like our facebook page

Sign and share our petition

 

 

If you think the health freedom issue is important, please share this link, thank you.

Updates on the health freedom issue are also shared through our new Facebook page at the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/The-NZ-Journal-of-Natural-Medicine-1556883684629639/

Website editor’s note: The New Zealand Journal of Natural Medicine supports New Zealanders’ access to a wide range of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients as well as herbs and homoeopathic remedies.

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